Conclusion by the external expert
In this report, Beter Bed Holding is reporting for the fifth time on its activities and progress in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in accordance with the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In the stakeholder dialogue, the report was found to be largely compliant with the G4 guidelines.
The annual report is presented in a clear format and is compact and readable. Detailed information is reported in a more extensive CSR report. The CSR report also contains a list of the definitions applied. The codes of conduct of Beter Bed Holding are available on the website www.beterbedholding.com.
Scope and framework of the report
In this report on the calendar year 2015 Beter Bed Holding reports on all formulas in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Austria. The information from Belgium is limited, but owing to the limited size of the operations in Belgium, MVOplossingen does not consider this to be material. As in the previous year, the CSR information in this report covers 99% of the total number of FTEs. Information on details in the separate CSR report may depart from this standard. In that specific case, the deviation from the coverage ratio is stated explicitly.
Consistency in reporting process
The figures presented in this report have been derived on the basis of consistent definitions and are therefore comparable to those of prior years. These definitions are included in the CSR report.
The information from the formulas is provided by a fixed team of employees. This stability has led to swifter and better reporting. MVOplossingen is very pleased that all reporting staff, with the exception of Spain, have been included in the CSR steering group. This will not only improve the quality of regular reporting, but also provide more information on developments at the formulas.
Group Controlling was closely involved in compiling and verifying the quantitative data. MVOplossingen is tasked with collecting the broad stream of information from within the group. The aggregations of quantitative data and changes in figures have been discussed and verified by Group Controlling.
Beter Bed Holding has taken a major step forward in 2014 by implementing the stakeholder dialogue. The results of the dialogue have confirmed that the chosen reporting structure and the selection of topics are appropriate. CSR was further embedded within the Beter Bed Holding organisation in 2015.
- In this annual report, the policy and developments are linked to significant trends in CSR, such as the climate summit in Paris and the Ambition 2020 report of CSR Netherlands.
- Increasingly, initiatives are originating ‘bottom up' in the formulas. The decision to provide green electricity for the stores in Germany as from October is an example of this.
- Several diagrams have been included in the annual report, which help in interpreting developments over time.
- The implementation of the stakeholder dialogue has shown that both the reporting strategy and the selection of topics are in line with expectations.
- Due to the clear and consistent allocation of duties between the Group Controlling staff and MVOplossingen, the quality of information has again improved.
Steps to be taken
- A number of standard indicators have not been reported, while they should be expected to be covered in reporting in conformity with G4 at the CORE level.
- The CSR steering group met in November for the first time. Accordingly the steering group was not yet able to make its mark on this report, and consequently the targets formulated have not been updated yet. MVOplossingen has recommended to the organisation that the steering committee should meet every quarter from now on.
- Reporting on complaints procedures and incidents diverges for each formula. In the opinion of MVOplossingen, the CSR steering group must ensure that this topic is managed and reported more consistently.
In MVOplossingen’s opinion, the report of Beter Bed Holding provides a good and accurate view of the business and its operations in the field of CSR. The CSR report including GRI Index is characterised by a high degree of detail and transparency, which enables stakeholders to engage in dialogue with the company on a solid basis.
Arnhem, the Netherlands, 10 March 2016
Specialist on communications on CSR in annual reports of the consultancy firm MVOplossingen